Rain brings road safety warning

Wet Weather Driving Pic TBW Newsgroup
STAY SAFE ON THE ROAD: Limestone Coast motorists have been reminded to follow road rules and keep their distance during wet and wintry conditions which have settled right across the region over recently. Picture: MOLLY TAYLOR

LIMESTONE Coast motorists are urged to remain cautious as rainfall becomes the new norm over winter, with research showing rear-end collisions increase by 10pc during wet conditions.

After a solid run of dry and pleasant days, a decent dose of rain, wind and cool temperatures arrived across the region this week, triggering a warning from the state’s leading motoring organisation.

“When roads are wet it takes a longer distance to stop, so motorists must keep a greater space between themselves and the vehicle in front in these conditions,’’ RAA safety and infrastructure senior manager Charles Mountain said.

The danger of failing to allow extra braking distance during wet weather was also highlighted by RAA road safety calculations, showing cars travelling at just 50kph required almost 10 metres more stopping distance in the wet compared to dry conditions.

These calculations also show that a car applying the brakes at 50kph in the wet is still travelling 33kph at the point a car braking in the dry has come to a stop.

“A collision at 33kph can still cause serious injury – or prove fatal to vulnerable road users such as cyclists or pedestrians,’’ Mr Mountain said.

“And the faster you are travelling the longer it takes to come to a stop in the wet, with potentially catastrophic consequences.”

Mr Mountain said drivers must also be aware pedestrians and cyclists can be harder to detect when it was raining.

Latest police figures show 2754 motorists were caught tailgating last year, resulting in more than $500,000 in fines.

“RAA reminds motorists that Australian Road Rules require them to drive a sufficient distance behind a vehicle travelling in front so, if necessary, they can stop safely to avoid a collision with the vehicle,” Mr Mountain said.

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